With a big win for the New England Patriots in their opening game on the road against Arizona, let’s name the player of the week: Martellus Bennett.
With Jimmy Garoppolo getting a lot of well deserved praise many would be quick to name him as the New England Patriots player of the week, but I am going to look elsewhere. I considered Cameron Fleming, who played better than expected at left tackle Sunday night, but my Patriot of the week had a few more impact blocks: Martellus Bennett.
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Bennett started his Patriot tenure with focused and physical play that proved why he has been named a Pro Bowler. With Rob Gronkowski not making the trip to Arizona, New England would need help in the blocking aspect of the offense.
Bennett helped the Patriot offense in multiple ways despite having only three receptions for 14 yards. New England’s game plan was to help their young quarterback by going with heavy runs by having a fullback in the backfield and going to the strength of the formation and behind a tight end. With Gronkowski being out, that tight end was Bennett who excelled in that role.
Bennett did a great job at chipping defensive ends to assist the Patriot tackles and give Garoppolo a little extra time to look for his open man. Bennett was aggressive from start to finish including a play that resulted in a questionable holding call as he wrestled Chandler Jones to the ground.
Bennett also was used by lining him up at different spots on the field including standing up out wide at X receiver as well as in the slot and with his hand on the ground at tight end. The Arizona defense reacted and allowed other Patriots to get open.
Bennett’s first impression as a Patriot is that he will fit in well as he followed the Patriot Way in his first game in uniform by doing the dirty work while not getting a lot on the stat sheet.